Saturday, 4 August 2012

ON THE MIDDLEWICH BRANCH 2003 with Charlie Hulme

The remains of the  up platform at the original Middlewich Station in 2003. The signal box stood where the grey radio frequency sign is in the middle of the photograph. A new colour light signal now occupies the same position. 
Charlie Hulme runs the excellent and highly regarded North Wales Coast Railway website. The Middlewich branch has close connections with the North Wales Coast route because it is  used by diverted London-Holyhead trains when engineering work makes the Crewe-Chester line unavailable.
In 2003 Charlie took a trip on one of these diverted trains and published a very interesting report, which our sister site, The Middlewich Diary, provided a link to, together with a direct link to the North Wales Coast Railway site itself.
There have been many changes since Charlie travelled along our line. The route has been completely resignalled,  many sections have been relayed with new track (including the 'old station' section as shown in Charlie's photo, above) and Albion Chemicals (formerly Murgatroyd's, BP, and Hays Chemicals, later Brenntag) has been largely demolished.
That little diesel shunter, though, as can be seen from the Middlewich Diary entry, survives in preservation and can now be found shunting passenger coaches in Swanage...


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